So many people have said to me and Jack that travelling will change us as people, but considering how down to earth we both are – we struggled to believe them. However today, during another chilled out afternoon in the wonderful city of Brisbane, I stopped to have a think about the person I was before I came travelling November, and I was surprised when I came to the realisation that I have actually changed a lot.
And thankfully, they’re all good changes, I think. Travelling offers something different for everyone and for me, it has definitely made me a better person without even realising. Here’s what I’ve learned…
Confidence – I sometimes struggle with conversation, especially with someone new. But travelling increases your need to get out and talk to new people. Hostels and shared Airbnb’s are perfect for this. When you’re in a new country, you are required to be more out of your comfort zone – you can’t be a recluse, you need to make use of public transport, talk to locals and make new friends – and having the confidence to leave my home comforts was a gain in confidence in itself.
I’m An Adult – No, really. Being away from home means you’re in your own and you can’t rely on your parents anymore and you actually have to book your own appointments. I’ve set up a bank account, I’ve been to the dentist, I’ve figured out foreign money, I have to cook my own meals every night and I have to look after myself properly. I guess travel and being on the other side of the world makes you more independent and less reliant on your parents – which we all need eventually.
I’m Actually Interesting – People aren’t generally interested in your degree or your time as a waitress serving ungrateful customers, but they are interested in your travels. I find it easier to be around new people because I have so much more to talk about, and usually, these people either relate or have similar goals and dreams as you do. More people ask for advice, more people want to know your story and more people want to know about your future plans.
Less of a Princess – My nickname is Princess Tippytoes – I don’t know why, honest. But when you’re on a budget and have no form of income – money runs out fast, meaning at some point, you’re going to have to sacrifice your home comforts. I was lucky enough to go to half decent hotels throughout my childhood, and I’d never stayed in a motel or hostel before Australia. I definitely had more of a few moments of sadness when I stepped into a grim motel room, but eventually I did adapt. For one night, it’s worth it, and I remembered why I wanted to save money and how lucky I am to be travelling around an awesome country. So eventually, I staying in cheap accommodation didn’t seem too bad after all – Princess Tippy Toes is no longer…
I’m Healthier– As I write this, there is a large bottle of Mount Franklin Australian spring water beside me on my desk – almost gone, of course. I drink water all day, every day, and salads and fish are quickly becoming my favourite food. Being in hot weather and also on a budget means a change in diet – plus, who wants to be cooking huge meals every single night in 30+ heat? I admit, I used to hate drinking water, especially with a meal, but now I bloody love it. I feel a difference within myself and it has also improved my skin. Here’s to water…
I’m Outgoing– I can be quite the introvert, but like I said, travelling doesn’t really allow you to be one. I’ve enjoyed talking to new people and making new friends since I became a traveler. I’ve also enjoyed being able to start a conversation with a stranger. Just a few days ago I went for a swim on a beach in Brisbane, stood next to a woman and ended up chatting to her for half an hour about travelling and my life in England – that’s something I don’t think I could ever have done before I came out here.
I Love Early Mornings– When the temperature is in the high twenties at 7am and the sun is shining beaming through the blinds, staying in bed isn’t really a choice unless you enjoy boiling up under the sheets. I don’t love early mornings during the first half an hour, but when I come to the realisation that I can get a lot more done – I love them.
Less Materialistic – I love buying new clothes. At home I’d have a different TopShop order every week, but when you’re travelling, fashion and the materialistic things are no longer important. I’ve been wearing the same clothes day in day out; I very rarely touch make up, and sunbathing all day to get a tan is no longer a priority. Instead; food, water, factor 50 and future travels are a priority, as they are more important. I no longer have the hope of wandering around clothes stores and I don’t even know what the latest fashion trends are, and I don’t even know how I managed to sunbathe all day, every day for two weeks on holiday – there is more to life than this.
I’m intelligent – My new love for travel has increased my love for learning about new countries and reading travel books. Usually I bypass any information about a country I go to on holiday because all I’m interested in is sunbathing. However, I’ve gained so much more enjoyment out of learning and discovering facts I never knew before.
More Adventurous – Before I came to Australia, I’d never been on holiday before that required anything more than walking to the local mini supermarket – simply because it was too hot. However, now I’m more inclined to hike up a mountain, walk around a city for hours and hours in just under 40 degree heat, try new food and stand on the edge of a cliff – I never realised how important stepping outside your comfort zone really is until I did it.
I’ve Discovered My Passion(s) – One of the goals I set before I had even bought a one way ticket to Australia, was to figure out what direction I wanted to head into career wise. I have a Criminology Degree, but that just didn’t seem like enough. However, recently I’ve fallen in love with travel writing and reading. Every single day I wake up, and write about a topic regarding travel and I absolutely love it. Perhaps travelling writing or blogging isn’t a realistic goal – but they are still a passion. Secondly, the travel bug has hit me harder than I thought it would. All I want to do is travel and see new places all around the world – so the thought of having a “real” career isn’t even in my thoughts anymore. The next countries I want to visit are.
I’m Happier– Waking up everyday in a new location works perfectly for me. When travelling, no day is the same, and I love the unpredictability that travels delivers. At home I found it so difficult being in the same routine every single day, but travel gives you the freedom to wake up and do whatever you want to do.
And so far, that’s sort of it. Having only been three months, I’m guessing I still have so much more to learn and so much more will change – hopefully all for the better. It’ll be interesting to see the changes when I get back to England in December, surrounded by people I know and back into my old routine. Travel has taught me so much more than I ever thought it would – and it’s brilliant.